Big melt heralds chub bonanza

At long last the snow has gone and the daytime temperatures have risen, but only slightly above freezing and it still feels bitterly cold, especially when it's windy too.

Chris Boughton

Angling in West Suffolk

By Chris Boughton

At long last the snow has gone and the daytime temperatures have risen, but only slightly above freezing and it still feels bitterly cold, especially when it's windy too. That's the good news for local anglers who are keen to get back to the bankside or as good as it gets. The slightly less good news is that most of the local lakes are still frozen and unfishable. Added to which the melted ice and snow has, as you would expect, found its way into our local rivers and all are generally unfishable unless you can find a back water, eddy or mill pool. The River Gipping near Claydon has completely burst its banks and in places it is hard to make out where the river actually is. Parts of the River Stour around Sudbury and Long Melford are also now attached to the local fields and even the River Lark between Bury and Mildenhall (usually just a puddle in places) is almost over the banks. At the weekend the River Lark at West Stow Country Park looked worryingly close to joining the 17-acre lake that runs alongside it. The River Blackbourn is also over its banks and into the fields in several places. And the rivers that are not bursting their banks are all in spate and equally unfishable.


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But when the rivers start to fine down and the icy cold water has flushed through, and assuming we do not get any more snow or heavy rain, then they could throw up some really good catches, especially as the water will be nicely coloured, affording the fish the confidence to feed. This is when the River Stour's chub should come into their own and what better way to spend a winter's day fishing than stalking chub on the River Stour. There are a couple of free sections but a Long Melford and Sudbury DAA membership will give you access to most of the hot-spots in that area. It would be good to get feedback from anyone who fishes the Stour once the river recovers (email address below).

The Bury St Edmunds Angling Association has its AGM on Monday 8th February in the Moreton Hall Community Centre in Bury St Edmunds starting at 7.30pm. Any members wishing to put items on the agenda should contact the Secretary, David Plampin, in writing by 5th February please.

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